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Category: Uncategorized

LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing) and Document Review

Posted on January 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is an industry that has been growing rapidly in the recent year and involves outsourcing of legal works by the legal communities of the developed countries like the US to lower wage developing countries like India.

LPO usually involves processes like Legal Research, Document Drafting, legal contracts, agreements, client letters, patent applications and various other Intellectual Property research and Paralegal Services.

LPO is increasingly being preferred these days because it has become a time consuming and expensive process, mainly triggered by data explosion, technological evolution, and the sudden increase in electronic stored information. One cannot also deny the fact that US practices lack consistent teams to perform document review work.

Document review in the context of litigation is done in two levels. The first level of document review is the discovery phase and first part in any litigation. This process is performed after receiving the legal “request for production of documents”. During this process the objective is to reduce the document set into a workable and responsive data set. Even though the e-discovery best practices have reduced a data set by almost 70% there still may remain millions of documents to be reviewed. This is because the total quantity of documents has multiplied several times over the years. In the second level these workable documents are reviewed more seriously by seniors.

As legal document review forms the major part of litigation expenses today law firms are trying out all methods to reduce the cost of litigation and outsourcing of e-discovery is a viable solution. During the document review process quite often millions of documents have to be searched and identified for

  • Case relevance
  • Confidentiality
  • Privileged /protection
  • “key or “hot” status

Besides in litigation, document review is also performed in matters of regulatory compliance and corporate due diligence.

The India based LPO services are a great boon in this regard because, attorneys in India doing the work come from the best law schools with a good understanding of the US legal system. They also use the best e-discovery technology, tools and processes and implement the highest level of security.

How to Respond to Requests for Production During a Divorce

Posted on January 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

Discovery is the legal process by which parties to a law suit uncover the evidence and true legal position of the other side. It is common for this process to be used in divorces to uncover assets and determine what the other side actually wants. Every State has particular laws regarding discovery and divorce. In Texas there are four main types of written discovery: Requests for Production, Requests for Admissions, Written Interrogatories and Requests for Disclosure.

There are other forms of discovery available to the parties such as informal investigations and depositions but nothing eats up client’s time and attorney’s fees quite like written discovery. The following is a brief description of how production is used in a divorce and how to respond.

Requests for Production are written requests specifying certain documents or other tangible things that are to be produced for inspection and copying. The idea is that the other side wants to see what tangible evidence you might be using in court before you get there so they can prepare. They are also attempting to gather evidence as to the make up of the marital estate. In other words they want to find out what the parties own so it can be divided. It is important to point out that if you do not produce the document you cannot use it at a trial or hearing later.

The most important thing to remember is that you must produce the documents and things that are requested unless your lawyer tells you not to. There are objections that can be made that can protect certain items but it is best to approach production with the mindset that you are going to fully comply. If you fail to produce a document or item you can be held in contempt of court.

Having said that generally your attorney is looking to object to as many requests as possible in an attempt to limit the amount of work both of you have to do as well as restrict the flow of information to the other side as much as is legally possible.

The very first thing to keep in mind is that if you do not have the item they are requesting you do not have to produce it. This is common in divorces where one party leaves the home and documents such as tax return left behind. If you did not take it with you they can’t make you go through all of the trouble of getting a new copy.

You do not have to create anything for the other side. If their request would require that you make something from scratch you are not required to do it. They can only ask that you produce things that you have in your possession or that you have superior access to.

That leads us to the next point. If your spouse has equal access to the item you do not have to produce it. This commonly occurs with things like joint credit card bills. If they have the ability to go online to get them as easily as you do then there is no reason for you to do it for them.

In the end hiding assets or documents is rarely worth the trouble. Putting all your cards on the table will generally work out for the best. If you are involved in a divorce and do not have a lawyer the discovery process, specifically requests for production may force you to retain an attorney to avoid being trapped.

Discovering The Ins And Outs Of Legal Pardons In The United States

Posted on January 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

To understand the concept of legal pardons, in the United States, or anywhere, one must first understand the definition of pardon. According to Wiki, a legal pardon is “the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it”. However, such pardons can only be granted by the head of State, or at times, a competent church authority.

Of course, while “commutation”, is a related term, when it comes to commutation, penalties may be reduced though there is no forgiveness of the crime. Whereas, Clemency is an associated term which includes all of the above, a pardon, a commutation, and forgiveness. As such, when one receives a commutation either off part or all of a sentence, one may released, but can never have the crime removed from record.

Although, while pardons basically mean the same thing to all criminals in all countries, different countries have different rules pertaining to such pardons. As such, this particular article looks at how such are handled in the United States. For, while one of the freest and richest countries in the World, pardons are often harder to come by than anywhere else in the World.

So, why are pardons granted? Pardons are granted in a variety of countries when individuals have fulfilled their debt to society, or deserve a pardon for other reasons according to heads of State or prison officials. Of course, pardons are also offered in some instances where individuals have claimed and proved that they were wrongfully convicted. However, the latter has become more frequent in the United States since the discovery of DNA evidence.

As to Clemency, such is often requested by foreign governments which do not believe in Capital punishment when of their citizens has been sentenced to death by a foreign nation. As such, Clemency is often one of the most complicated aspects of legal pardons. Still, if a country can prove it is in the best interest of the country and individual, often such Clemency can be granted when and where both countries agree on same.

A good example of such a pardon is that of Leonard Peltier, who has requested a pardon, year after year, president after president to no avail. Or, that of Nixon who was pardoned after committing severe political crimes while in the White House. So, while legal pardons are available, just as issues with the justice system, such pardons are not always just.

Perhaps this is why in the United States, power to pardon an individual convicted of a Felony is granted only to the President under the Constitution. Although, the Supreme Court has now interpreted such language to include conditional pardons, commutations, conditional commutations, remissions of fees and other amnesties, respites and forfeitures. Still, with such power limited to one individual, fewer and fewer individuals have been pardoned over time.

As such, all request for Federal pardons are addressed to the President who can either deny or grant such request. Of course, the percentage of pardons during a presidency varies with each change in administration. However, fewer pardons have been granted since World War II than before. As such, while such power to pardon has been controversial at best from the onset, Alexander Hamilton became successful in defending such powers with the first pardon being granted to the Whiskey Rebellion.

Although the U. S. Justice Department recommends that those requesting a pardon must wait five years after conviction, or prior to release to receive such a pardon, this is not always the case now when it comes to wrongful convictions. However, when it comes to presidential pardons, one can be granted at any any time though most pardons are seen as an admission of guilt unless otherwise defined through legal preceding.

To this end, individuals convicted of crimes who receive legal pardons must still report such crimes on job applications and can have no Civil Rights reinstated under Federal law. However, as such measures are often imposed and upheld by State laws, the State in which the individual resides has the right to remove such limitations where appropriate. So, as the federal pardon process can take a great deal longer than working with the State, individuals may wish to discuss restoring their Civil Rights with a State Representative rather than going through such Federal channels upon having received such a pardon.

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